You have taken charge and arranged for a pest control company to visit your house to get rid of the various insects that have been bugging you and others in your home. But what happens after the exterminators leave? What additional measures are necessary to prevent a new infestation? Once you have been given the “all clear” and are allowed to return to the building, there are few things you can do to help sustain the effectiveness of the program.
Follow the instructions of the pest control company
The exterminators will provide you with a set of guidelines to follow once you reenter your home. These directives will include the extent of immediate cleaning chores you can undertake and when other tasks, such as vacuuming and mopping, can be undertaken. It is important to follow these instructions as they relate directly to the effectiveness of the treatment program.
Reduce clutter to control pests
Look around the house, in corners in particular, and attack the clutter. Untidy areas provide convenient retreats for pests, allowing them to breed and repopulate your home. Imposing a bit of order in rooms (yes, with children and teenagers this is no easy task) limits where insects and other creatures can hide and hang out.
Seal areas of insect ingress
Inspect the exterior of your home, caulking and sealing areas where pipes and wires penetrate walls, the roof and soffits, and the floor. Caulk and seal around windows and doorways as well. Inside the building, repair and fill cracks around moldings and along baseboards.
If any clothing or fabrics were exposed to the pesticide during treatment, it is a good idea to run them through the washing machine. Furniture and mattresses should have been covered with sheets or tarps, so they are probably fine. However, if you suspect contamination contact a furniture or mattress store for cleaning instructions.
Thoroughly clean exposed surfaces
After the recommended interval, completely clean all exposed hard surfaces and reline drawers and shelves. Do not return food, cutlery, linens, or other items to these areas until they have been cleaned.
If the weather allows, open windows and doors to let the air in to help remove that distinctive pesticide odor. These chemicals treat surfaces, so you do not have to worry about diminishing their effectiveness by clearing the air.
Finally, be patient. It may take a week to ten days for the insecticide treatment to kill off all of the pests targeted. However, you also need to be vigilant. If bugs and insects are still lingering after two weeks, or they simply reappear, a follow up treatment may be necessary. This is not uncommon, and your pest control company will discuss the details and protocol with you.